If you’ve visited a few online casinos in New Jersey recently, you may have noticed a new game called virtual sports. But what are virtual sports? Is it like sports betting or is it an online slot? Or maybe it’s a different combination entirely?
We run through the frequently asked questions about the newest game at New Jersey online casinos: virtual sports.
What are virtual sports?
Virtual sports are computer-simulated sporting events that people can bet on and then watch a live stream of the simulated event on a variety of New Jersey online casino sites. Currently, sports include simulated races that feature virtual horses, dogs and cars. There’s even virtual team sports with soccer launching first and more expected to follow.
Virtual sports are perhaps best defined as a combination of a video game, sports bet, and slot machine.
How do they work?
The virtual races and virtual games are computer simulations with the outcome determined by a random number generator, the same way the outcome of casino games and slots are determined at online casinos.
However, the outcomes aren’t completely random. Historical data is embedded into the game, giving teams or individuals with the better track record an edge.
But just like in real life, the favorite doesn’t always win. The data provides a way to handicap the games and races, but once the odds have been established, the random number generator is introduced and it can flip that data on its ear. The random number generator takes historical data into consideration but determines an independent outcome.
Players bet on the games, watch a simulation and then get paid depending on the outcome and what exactly they wagered.
What sports are offered?
New Jersey online casinos offer Inspired Entertainment Inc.’s virtual sports that include horse, dog and car races, in addition to soccer games. A game called 1st Down Virtual Football specifically targeted to US consumers is expected to launch sometime in 2018.
Where can you play virtual sports in NJ?
Inspired Entertainment’s virtual sports games are available exclusively online at the following list of NJ online casinos:
- Golden Nugget online
- Caesars Casino
- Mohegan Sun
- BetMGM online casino
- Borgata Casino
Resorts Atlantic City is also planning to launch live virtual sports in its iGaming Lounge just off the main casino floor sometime in the near future.
How does the betting work?
Players bet on virtual sports almost the same way they would on real sports in a traditional sportsbook.
You can look at the odds before making a selection. Then place a bet and watch the game or race.
Just like sports betting in a Las Vegas sportsbook, there are a number of betting options for each game or race. Inspired Entertainment creates point spreads and odds, all based on whatever historical data is available about race or game participants.
The big difference is in the frequency and programmable nature of events. Virtual sports are simulations that can run over and over again, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Plus, the content can be designed to start more frequently and under faster parameters than real live sports.
By providing content for gamblers to bet on even when no real events are taking place, virtual sports has found great success in the UK. Making the contests available faster and more frequently has helped it along even further.
How realistic are virtual sports?
Like computer graphics used in modern movies and video games, virtual sports aren’t real, but they are quite realistic. The simulations are high quality, but they are computer generated. No real athletes are used, the numbers are all generic and athlete names are fake.
Sometimes the players and their attributes are based on real-world athletes, teams and horses, using their historical data to influence the outcome somewhat.
The teams, players and racehorses will never bear recognizable names but they can potentially use their statistics.